News on Pharrell, Americana, Polyphonic Spree

WillThe Neptunes' Pharrell Williams will make his movie debut in the direct-to-video feature "Dude, We're Going to Rio," due Oct. 14 from Star Trak/Arista through an undetermined distributor. The film will feature songs from the Star Trak compilation, "The Neptunes Present ... Clones," due Tuesday (Aug. 5). The set's first single, the Pharrell/Jay-Z collaboration "Frontin'," is No. 6 this week on Billboard's Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart.


-- Rashaun Hall, N.Y.







CashJohnny Cash is up for three honors at the second annual Americana Awards, to be held Sept. 19 in Nashville. Cash is nominated for album of the year for "American IV: The Man Comes Around" (American/Lost Highway), song of the year for his cover of Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt" and artist of the year.

Lucinda Williams is up for song of the year for "Righteously" as well as artist of the year. Alison Krauss is the other multiple nominee, garnering mentions as artist and instrumentalist of the year. The event, which is a part of the annual Americana Conference, will also feature performances by Allison Moorer, Kathleen Edwards, Ricky Skaggs and Rodney Crowell.

Here are the nominees for the 2003 Americana Awards:

Album of the year:
Johnny Cash, "American IV: The Man Comes Around" (American/Lost Highway)
Kathleen Edwards, "Failer" (Rounder)
Jayhawks, "Rainy Day Music" (Lost Highway)
Buddy Miller, "Midnight & Lonesome" (Hightone)

Song of the year:
Johnny Cash, "Hurt" (American Recordings/Lost Highway)
Dixie Chicks, "Truth # 2" (Sony/Monument)
Rhonda Vincent, "You Can't Take It With You When You Go" (Rounder)
Lucinda Williams, "Righteously" (Lost Highway)

Artist of the year:
Johnny Cash
Kathleen Edwards
Alison Krauss
Lucinda Williams

Instrumentalist of the year:
Jerry Douglas
Allison Krauss
Buddy Miller
Gurf Morlix


-- Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.







SpreeThe 24-member orchestral pop ensemble the Polyphonic Spree is in search of a french horn player to substitute for the group's upcoming New York City shows. The Spree is set to play an Aug. 12 show at the Bottom Line, an Aug. 15 engagement at Warsaw and Aug. 16 in Central Park, as well as taping an Aug. 15 appearance on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien."

An e-mail distributed by the band's publicist says the Spree's current french horn player will be unable to perform at those shows. "The [back-up] candidate must be able to improvise, be a bad ass at his/her instrument, have a good demeanor and [be] willing to don a robe," it reads. Interested parties should email Chris Penn at chris@goodrecordsrecordings.com with personal contact information.

The Polyphonic Spree recently signed a deal with Hollywood, which rereleased the group's independent disc, "The Beginning Stages of..." A new studio album is expected in 2004.


-- Troy Carpenter, N.Y.